The use of mobile apps for retailers is expected to generate growth of 23% in sales for 2012.
The report by Netsuite reveals that 70% of high street retailers already have a mobile app and the figure will rise to 80% when including those that plan to have one in the next 12 months.
The top platforms for mobile apps amongst retailers are iOS (48%), Android (45%), Windows Phone (30%), and Blackberry (23%).
"In the context of a difficult macroeconomic climate, retailers seem positive in their expectations for revenue growth," says Colin Edwards, Economist at the Centre for Business and Economic research. "The estimates from retailers may prove to be somewhat optimistic, but, the relative importance of the higher expected growth rates among retailers with e-commerce and m-commerce revenue streams means that these revenue channels are likely to become increasingly important."
Even though the majority of retailers are already running a mobile optimised eCommerce site or smartphone app, some retailers are facing difficulties in developing an m-commerce platform.
The main challenges for retailers delivering mobile apps are integration with other e-commerce systems (38%), lack of budget (37%) and lack of understanding on how to deliver a suitable mobile experience (15%).
"Few people would have guessed that m-commerce would move from a nice-to-have to an essential part of your e-commerce sales platform this quickly," says Andy Lloyd, General Manager of Commerce Products for NetSuite. "Most retailers are now in a race to get their house in order and deliver a mobile channel for their customers before they lose out to the competition."
Llyod advises businesses to make sure they have a compelling and updated web front as well as automation across their platforms. Mobile platforms where data has to be re-input can have a negative effect on m-commerce profitability.